Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire is likely to run in the Feb. 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire is likely to run in the Feb. 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta

Firenze Fire Works, Confirmed for Withers

The grade 1 winner will continue to follow New York's Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Owner Ron Lombardi has confirmed Champagne Stakes (G1) winner Firenze Fire will make his next start in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (G3) Feb. 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The homebred son of Poseidon's Warrior , who carries the silks of Lombardi's Mr. Amore Stable, worked four furlongs Jan. 29 in :49.32 on the dirt training track at Belmont Park for trainer Jason Servis. The breeze was ninth-fastest of 21 at the distance Monday.

Firenze Fire is currently tied for second on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" leaderboard with 20 points toward a spot in the starting gate for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). The 1 1/8-mile Withers awards Road to the Kentucky Derby points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.

"It's exciting," Lombardi said Jan. 29. "We always kept our options open and wanted to see how he was doing. He breezed great today, so I talked with Jason and it's a go for the Withers."

Lombardi said both the $300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) March 10 and the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) April 7 at Aqueduct are on the table for his Florida-bred colt.

"The Gotham is five weeks away and the Wood is another four weeks after that so it's doable to run in both," Lombardi said. "We'll see how he comes out of this race and take it from there. If we can get to 30 points, we should be in good shape for the Derby."

If Firenze Fire runs in the Wood, the purse would be boosted to $1 million via a $250,000 bonus triggered by a grade 1 winner in the field.

Firenze Fire began his 3-year-old campaign with a half-length victory over West Point Thoroughbreds' Seven Trumpets in the Jan. 13 Jerome Stakes, a listed stakes that was delayed 12 days because of inclement weather and adverse track conditions at Aqueduct. It was his first start since a seventh-place finish in the Nov. 4 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar.

A multiple graded stakes winner out of the Langfuhr  mare My Every Wish, the bay colt has four wins from six career starts, with earnings of $539,100. His victories also include the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course.